Cloudmango Team

How to Choose Your Business Name

The name of your business is a vital component to the first impression people will get of your business, as well as future company branding. A general rule of thumb is that a business name should describe what your company is about; however, when you consider many of the online companies with quirky names such as Google, Udemy or Twitter, than it goes without saying that fun and catchy must work to a degree. You will want your business name to be evergreen, meaning it will last for the life of your business, otherwise rebranding costs time and money. Another point to consider is that if you ever sell your business, the name should be favorable to prospects.

How Will Your Company Name Look in Print?

As you develop a brand, a logo for your business, design a website or ads, it’s important to deliberate on how the business name will look in these instances.

Verify Legal Availability

During the process of choosing a company name, be sure to verify it’s availability from a legal standpoint as well. Business names are protected by US trademark law within the United States, so steer clear of copyright and trademark infringement.

There are a few easy steps to check the availability of a business name, as follows:
• Conduct a general online search to see if any results appear
• Domain names can be verified through ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
• The ideal resource for verifying federal availability is US trademark law

Choosing a Domain Name

Every business needs an online presence, even if your primary goal is a physical location. With the majority of the nation doing research online, you’ll want people to find you on the Internet. Ideally you would want your company name to incorporate into your domain name as well; this is crucial in growing your brand. Although it is not a hard and fast rule, here we will focus on choosing a domain name for your company that will also be utilized for your online presence.

Following are tips that should be considered when choosing a domain name:
Make it easy to spell without substitutions.
As people search for you online, your domain name should be simple to spell and preferably not have multiple spelling options. This does not mean you shouldn’t get creative, but again keep it simple.
It should be easily pronounced.
People remember names in various ways, often audibly and visually. If your name is difficult to pronounce, it will also be difficult for people to remember.
Be sure it is explanatory and brandable.
Simple and self-explanatory will also make it easily brandable. Think ‘no-brainer.’
Keep it short.
The shorter the better when you take into account that people will be typing your domain name. Also, as you expand your online presence on YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms, the shorter, easy-to-spell domain names will be favorable.
• Choose something that is memorable.
To emphasize, as your domain name is essential in building your online presence and targeting new customers, select something that is easy to remember. In addition to being easy to pronounce and spell, the name should be memorable because not only are people typing in domain names; they are conducting searches via voice command now.
Avoid hyphens.
Aside from confusing people with hyphens, as if they miss them out, most people will likely end up at a competitor’s website or somewhere completely unrelated to your company, ending in frustration for the would-be customer.
Opt for a .com extension.
Due to the popularity of the internet, newer extensions have been created to include .net, .org, .club, .live, etc. Of course there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the newer extensions but because .com was the first and most recognized, it is best to stick with the tried and tested when forming a domain name.

Using specific websites can help you locate domain names that have expired or to determine if they are available, such as instantdomainsearch.com or godaddy.com. If you need help coming up with a domain name, there are websites that can generate domain names, such as nameboy.com or domainscope.com.

Think Outside of the Box

Being creative with your business name can be beneficial. If you choose a unique name, you’re less likely to run into issues with it already being copyright protected through US trademark law or taken as a domain name.

Tell a story with your business name: Occasionally business owners select a name that is unique with a special personal meaning, then build upon it so it becomes a great conversational piece for a story. For example, a public relations entrepreneur, Matt Rizzetta named his business North 6th Agency, aka N6A. Interestingly, Rizzetta has incorporated his personal reference of the name as a pillar for his business. The story he tells is the North 6th refers to the New York street that his immigrant grandparents lived on. They built their life after leaving Italy on hard work, and the name is a tribute to them. He shares the story with business prospects and potential employees, which allows a brief view into his personal life while also using it to convey the standards of his business practice which is based on hard work, ethics, values and respect.
Be totally creative and make up a word: Google was essentially a made up word. While Twitter was in existence and used as a verb, the social media business took it and ran. The key to making a unique word work for you is devoting time to consider the types of promotions you’ll incorporate it in, the logo and branding for your company and how you will market it. Repurpose a word. Think of Apple, the word wasn’t new, but it was built on certain beliefs, values and innovativeness and it has made its mark.

Think of it as the First Impression of Your Business

Finding the perfect name requires you to strike a balance. You want it to represent your business well. If it’s too boring or meaningless, people may pass you by. For instance, Wells and Associates; common sense tells us that most likely it was named in honor of the founders, but unless there’s a tagline directly following the name, there’s no way of knowing what Wells and Associates does. CPA, lawyer, what?

There’s also the conundrum of choosing something extremely simple and to the point that does the job of describing the business and making it personal, such as Bill’s Plumbing, but is boring and forgetful. What makes Bill better than any other plumber, and who is Bill? Okay, they do plumbing, so do fifteen other people in town. That name will require lots of brand building and marketing, providing a service that is unique or better than the rest.

To reiterate, the business name is the first impression many people will get of your company. It is the first step towards your branding and company identity, the cornerstone of your future.

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